Oprah Winfrey has announced that her powerhouse daytime television show, the foundation of a multibillion-dollar media empire with legions of fans, will end its run in 2011 after 25 years on the air.
She told the audience at the end of a live broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday that "prayer and careful thought" led to her decision.
"This show has been my life and I love it enough to know when it's time to say goodbye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones, and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number, the exact right time," Oprah said during the show at her Chicago studio.
"Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number, the exact right time."
Friends and fans of Winfrey, 55, have expressed mixed feelings about the decision.
The Oprah Winfrey Show, which first aired in 1985 and is currently syndicated in 145 countries, is one of the TV industry's biggest money-makers. It is the highest-rated US daytime talk show, averaging 7.1 million viewers this year.
However, when she ends her run at ABC on September 9, 2011 - 25 years to the day since she began - she will be moving on to cable television, to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) which will debut in 80 million homes.
Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports this is far from retirement for the media maven.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies